I hope this to be the last word on capacity issues at Eckstein (but I suspect not as these parents are quite persistent).
From the DPD/FMO. (I am not posting the entire thing but here's pertinent info.)
"During inspection, staff walked the halls and observed class sizes and hall traffic between classes. No signs of overcrowding in halls or classrooms was observed with respect to allowing safe exiting in the event of emergency. "
"For purposes of safe exiting, the more doors you have off (classrooms and offices and hallways), the more people you can have in the building. Based on current building code standards, the size of the rooms and number/proximity of exits, Eckstein Middle School could safely handle over 4,000 people for purposes of exiting."
"Portables with one door are limited to 49 occupants but portables with an additional exit can have more."
Re: pedestrians - "The topic of student safety is important and should be discussed with City of Seattle's School Traffic Safety Committee. Citizens can bring their concern for the safety of students walking or biking to school to their attention by e-mailing Brian Dougherty at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have notified Brian of your concerns so he is aware and able to respond.
We understand your concerns with the future of the school and safety of students. However, the school currently falls well below the building code maximum occupancy limited allowed for Eckstein Middle School.
Concerns regarding reasonable school capacity during school hours and the safety of students should be directed to the Seattle Public Schools.
You'll note, they did NOT address whether Eckstein is crowded but the issues from what the City is supposed to look for. Also, understand that Eckstein knows its building limits and does indeed, limit the numbers of people in the building at any given time for any given event.
No one is saying Eckstein isn't crowded. It's just not in violation of any health or safety codes either by the City or district.
Also, the district IS coordinating a mailing to Hamilton and Eckstein families to recruit new families to JA K-8. The school is funding that mailing and all the supplies. No district staff is working on this effort. The district is also telling families about Option schools in their area via the Open Enrollment letter that was mailed on Wednesday.
Director Peaslee did reply to Ms. Sweet and said that she used her own iPhone to make the JA K-8 video (no professional equipment) and was not paid. She created the idea with the permission of JA's principal and assistant principal. She did contact Wayne Barnett, the City/District Ethics officer and he confirmed that she had no conflict of interest in volunteering for this effort.